The National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe is working on a project to restore collapsed walls on the southern terraces of the Hill Complex at Great Zimbabwe. The project is being held in collaboration with the Departments of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of Zimbabwe and Great Zimbabwe University. The objective of the project is to restore a section of a collapsed wall on the southern terraces of the Hill Complex. The process is carried out by professionally trained conservators who work hand in hand with local stone masons who have vast experience and knowhow in the conservation of the dry stone walled structures at Great Zimbabwe and other sites in southern Africa. In addition to the conservation work, the project team, led by Prof Shadreck Chirikure, Dr Munyaradzi Manyanga and Dr Tawanda Mukwende, is taking advantage of the restoration to systematically collect cultural material associated with the southern terraces so as to understand the lifeways of the people who inhabited the area. In addition, material culture such as charcoal and animal teeth will be used to get radiocarbon dates thus improving our understanding of the evolution of Great Zimbabwe as a state capital.
Another component of the project involves capacity building. In this regard, students from the Great Zimbabwe University are taking part with a view to exposing them to practical aspects related to drystone wall conservation, archaeological excavations and artefact studies.
Information obtained from this project will be used in the presentation of the site to include the southern terrace area as a way of expanding the visitor experience at the site.